My First Disaster (Sigh)

Decorating By michellesArt Updated 21 Jun 2008 , 3:27pm by ibteana

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michellesArt Posted 15 Jun 2008 , 8:51pm
post #1 of 17

so this cake was to be part of a silent auction (and the centerpiece) and i could not get the colour right!! icon_evil.gif it was supposed to be a golden apple (that turned into a pumpkin) again icon_mad.gif but it was still beatiful (she paid me $40-seriously undercharged) i work with her and after the event i asked her how it went and she was not happy icon_redface.gif she said that it only made $20 (come on! who did the auction-it's a custom cake with RI flowers! i think they could have drummed up more dispite the colour?!?!) i felt horrible but after colouring all that fondant and putting it on the cake (i mistakenly thought that adding the gold sparkle would help) i thought i would make it worse by attempting to remove it (and a whole jar of glitter) icon_redface.gif she made me feel even worse by saying that there were a lot of bigwig corporate families there but didn't think she should put out my card. so, seeing how she didn't say anything when she picked it refund but as i do want to make things right, i told her i would give her 50% off another school event order- would that help? thumbs_up.gifthumbsdown.gif

16 replies
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ibteana Posted 15 Jun 2008 , 9:15pm
post #2 of 17

I would leave it be without offering a discount for the next purchase. She got a really great deal. I think the problem was that who buys a cake at a silent auction? If you dont have a reason to buy a whole cake you wont get any bids. When I donate to auctions. I make a collage of my work and the auction item is a certificate for a cake. Of course you have to make guidelines i.e. 12 inch double layer, two tier, character etc. This allows the bidder to use a cake when a cake is needed and you get bigger $ for the charity and your name is out there on the certificate. Sorry your big apple did not do as well as you expected. It's smoothness is wonderful!! Best wishes!

Once I did a mini cake to go along with the certificate and collage to show off my work and it went really well. The winner got to see my work, take a cake for 2 home and won a cool auction for use later.

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KathysCC Posted 15 Jun 2008 , 9:34pm
post #3 of 17

You know, I am thinking that it is not your fault if her auction did not generate the prices she was expecting. Your cake is lovely and I think she is just disappointed that she didn't get her "investment" back on the auction. I would say nothing and do nothing. People try to make others feel guilty for their own mistakes.

We decorators tend to be very critical of ourselves when it comes to our cakes but don't ever let your customers know that. She saw the cake, bought it and probably thought it would bring in more. It is wrong for her to make YOU feel bad after the fact.

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michellesArt Posted 15 Jun 2008 , 10:10pm
post #4 of 17

i really like the idea of doing a collage/certificate-that would have shown the scope of my cakes better and with some guidelines probably would have generated more $ for the school- i like the idea of the cake for 2 as well to go with the certificate. i'll keep that in mind for next time- i did another cake shortly after (or before, it was a busy week) and my friend told me after that it did well and a lot of people took my info (it was a funfair for the school so the cake was a sunny, fun cake)

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springlakecake Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 7:38pm
post #5 of 17

There is NO reason you need to discount or refund any money! It's not your fault.

I think ibteana has the right idea of offering a certificate for a custom cake for the occasion of their choosing. i have done this twice now. Otherwise...right, if I don't have a reason for cake right now, I probably wouldnt spend a lot of money for one. Plus since it was a silent auction, it is hard to drum up sales like with a live auction.

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TooMuchCake Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 7:51pm
post #6 of 17

I've done a lot of donations for a twins' club annual fundraiser, and the cookie arrangements I donate NEVER bring in as much money as I could have sold them outright for. That's the nature of auctions... They usually have items donated to them and then anything they sell the item for is all (or mostly) profit.

It's not your fault that the cake didn't auction for more than it did.


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wgoat5 Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 11:14pm
post #7 of 17

totally understand how you feel..

Took a carrot cake one year for a RADIO auction... it brought 80.00 ...

Took a custom cake for about 30 to a cake walk.. it brought 60.00 icon_sad.gif

Makes ya mad

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Texas_Rose Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 11:53pm
post #8 of 17
Originally Posted by wgoat5

Took a custom cake for about 30 to a cake walk.. it brought 60.00 icon_sad.gif

Don't feel bad...our school does a cake walk and by my calculations they make about $5 on the cake, if even that much (25 cents a chance, 10 to 20 people playing, if even that many). I spent more on ingredients and on the plastic box they insisted we buy than they could have made on the cake. Next time I will save my time and trouble and just give my kids the money to buy tickets to spend at the fair instead.

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wgoat5 Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 11:56pm
post #9 of 17

UGHHH boy did I screw up.. that was for a auction icon_sad.gif Sorry icon_sad.gif

BUT.. I brought 3 cakes to the auction... then the lady's for the classrooms were mad at me for not bringing a cake for the cake walk icon_sad.gif GRRR

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akgirl10 Posted 21 Jun 2008 , 12:01am
post #10 of 17

I made two cakes for a bake sale to raise money for a sick coworker at DH's work. The carrot cake went for $45, the highest at the auction. The fondant covered chocolate cake, only $30. There's something about carrot cake that everyone seems to love!

It might have been better for you to outright donate the cake, that way the organizer would have no right to be upset in any way. I think it's crummy she didn't put your business cards out. Sure, you're trying to raise money for the school, but hello, you're running a business!

BTW, I think your apple is lovely, especially the sparkles. It definitely does not look like a pumpkin.

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JodieF Posted 21 Jun 2008 , 12:45am
post #11 of 17

I donated what I thought was a darling cake to my schools' Trivia Night. It's the cake with flowers and the birds nest on top in my photos. It brought a whopping $25.
Oh well, it's $25 more than we had to start. I also donate cheesecakes and the ones I sell for $50 never go for more than $30. It's just hard to figure out.

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springlakecake Posted 21 Jun 2008 , 10:44am
post #12 of 17

I did two cakes for my son's boyscout cake auction (giant cupcake and banana split cake) I want to say they went for around $40 or 50. Then I over heard the lady that bought one of mine and she was saying how they spend a rediculous amount of money bidding on these cakes. I am thinking she actually got a deal on one of mine! LOL! Now the OTHER cakes that were there....that is another story...

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lovetofrost Posted 21 Jun 2008 , 11:44am
post #13 of 17

I think your cake is beautiful. I like the effect the sparkles have on it. I think you did already undercharge. And giving her a discount is not needed, but if you do give on definitely not 50% maybe 5-15%. I can't believe she didn't put out any of your cards. It sounds like she really was over her head in this event. Everyone is right about buying a cake at an auction. I would have a hard time buying something like that that I didn't need or couldn't use right away. I love the idea of the certificate with maybe a small sample cake to go with it. It of course is up to you but I don't think you did anything wrong here.

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michellesArt Posted 21 Jun 2008 , 1:42pm
post #14 of 17

thank you all so much-i feel better and better about it-it really does have you questioning you confidence when someone is that critical. i think next time i'll go the way of a certificate, less work for me and no one will feel like they were charged too much (wasn't enough though).

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michellesArt Posted 21 Jun 2008 , 1:44pm
post #15 of 17

i'm just taking a short break from the finishing touches on a wedding cake (my first outside the family lol not THE family)! i'm definately not going to suggest cream cheese icing again(atleast not in the summer) it's too soft even if it does taste great. any suggestions? has anyone come up with a better creamcheese icing without overloading on the PS? thanks

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mgdqueen Posted 21 Jun 2008 , 1:59pm
post #16 of 17

My cakes do not do well at the silent auctions-I find the least decorated do much better. If I take a chocolate cake in with just a ganache covering and some chocolate curls, it goes much higher than a cake that took me hours to decorate. I no longer do fancy cakes for silent auctions unless they just have a big bow on them.

As far as cream cheese, I use the crusting cream cheese without any problems, but still don't like using it in extreme temperatures.

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ibteana Posted 21 Jun 2008 , 3:27pm
post #17 of 17

Kinda funny outcome from silent auction.
I had 2 certificates for auction 1st was for 8 inch round cake or 24 cupcakes went for $65. 2nd 12 inch round or 48 cupcakes final bid was $59. Someone could not do math! The funniest part was I found out the person who won the 24 for $65 was the same lady I did a 3 tier square cake for her birthday charged $100 (friend price) and she made a face when I told her the cake would be $100 that included delivery! I wonder if she ever realized that she paid $65 for 2 dozen cupcakes was alot more $ than $100 for a 3 tier feeding 100 people? I still snicker when I think about it!

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